Heat Exposure Critical in Constructionby A. Montalbano on 07/16/15
Texas summer heat has arrived and construction is at a all-time high during this season. The International Risk Management Institute offers tips to keeping it cool as temperatures rise in the lone star state.
(Courtesy IRMI) With the hottest months of the year upon us, heat-related illness poses an increased concern on construction projects. As temperatures and humidity levels rise, contractors must take extra precautions to protect workers against illnesses caused by dangerously high body temperatures, including heatstroke. Some common-sense precautions include the following.
- Make water readily available and require workers to drink regularly even if they don't feel thirsty.
- Provide shaded rest breaks (frequency determined by the heat index).
- Encourage workers to use sunscreen.
- Allow workers to acclimate by limiting their direct sun exposure and building up their tolerance over several days.
- Train workers on how to spot signs of overexposure in themselves and in coworkers and on how to respond.
- To the extent possible, shift work schedules to allow more work to be done during cooler hours, and avoid scheduling the most strenuous activities during the hottest time of day.